Sheriff: Hawkins County woman dead after text message argument with aunt

(Photo: Hawkins County Sheriff's Office)
(Photo: Hawkins County Sheriff's Office)

CHURCH HILL, Tenn. (WATE) – A woman is dead after a shooting in Hawkins County Saturday that started with a text message argument.

Investigators found Brittany Leann Murray, 25, laying in the road with a gunshot wound to the head around 9:40 p.m. at 5127 Carters Valley Road, lot#16 in Church Hill.

The Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office believes the shooting was the result of an argument through text messages between the victim and her aunt. The report says the Murray arrived to her aunt’s residence at 9:35 p.m. The victim got out of a vehicle. The victim’s aunt, Beth A. Manis, 45, came to the porch and shot Murray with a 357-revolver, according to investigators.

“It’s my belief Beth Manis, the lady charged with murder was rumored to be having an affair with Brittany’s father, which we found out wasn’t true. An argument started between these two ladies when she arrived at the residence to confront her about it, she was shot,” said Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.

Witnesses say Manis did not warn Murray that she would shoot.

“I think alcohol played a huge part in this. As we know, social media and text messaging causes a lot of confusion anymore. This one, even though it was a simple one over a lie, turned deadly,” said Lawson.

Manis faces charges for first degree murder and is being held without bond. She was expected to appear in Hawkins County General Sessions Court Monday.

The victim’s family, who are from Kingsport, did not wish to comment.

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